“Extremely Gifted Athlete For A Man His Size”

November 11th, 2017

Strong words for Donovan Smith

The guy protecting the blind side of America’s Quarterback, Jameis Winston, has had a few rough games this year. Two in a row, in fact.

But Donovan Smith is nowhere near the waste too many fans make him out to be.

Consider the love Dirk Koetter showered Smith with on the Buccaneers Radio Network yesterday.

“I think Donovan could [play a position other than left tackle,]” Koetter said.

“There’s definitely a group of people out there that think Donovan would be a terrific right tackle. You know, we feel like we need him at left tackle. Donovan is an extremely gifted athlete for a man his size. He’s got incredible power. He’s been extremely durable over his career. Now, it’s the first he’s ever had to miss in his third season was the second half [Sunday in New Orleans]. He’s done everything humanly possible to try to get ready to make it this week.”

Smith’s issue has always been inconsistency. And like many big guys who aren’t built like fitness models, Smith often looks very bad when he does screw up.

But as Joe has stated many times, the Smith haters might want to really study left tackles around the NFL. What they’ll then see in Smith is an average starter, a 24-year-old left tackle with major upside. Smith certainly is not a priority problem for the Bucs.

That written, Smith needs to bounce back from what currently seems like a regression season. And Joe fully expects Smith to do just that.

43 Responses to ““Extremely Gifted Athlete For A Man His Size””

  1. unbelievable Says:

    Smith’s issue has always been inconsistency.


    He’s pretty good 80%+ of the time, but then just takes plays off every game- many of which result in Jameis getting blasted or Doug tackled in the backfield.

    Him and Dotson have been stacking up their share of hands-to-the-face / holding and false start penalties as well. They both lead the team w/ 5 penalties each.

  2. Defense Rules Says:

    Read a fascinating analysis the other day which essentially concluded that Jameis NEEDS a consistent running game to be effective, but that the Bucs’ run game has been anything but consistent. No surprises there. But it also concluded that the interior of the Bucs’ OLine (Pamphile – Marpet – Sweezy) has performed quite poorly (I’m being kind) & that the Bucs RBs have little chance running between the Guards. It’s NOT Marpet … it’s Pamphile & Sweezy who are dragging it all down.

    Their analysis also concluded that Donovan Smith (and Demar Dotson) have performed quite well run blocking (as have Marpet & Evan Smith). The worst run blockers? Sweezy (terrible) & Pamphile (not much better). Sweezy was somewhat better pass-blocking than run-blocking (not what everyone expected?) but Pamphile is just meh. Donovan gets lower grades for his pass-blocking, but (1) he does typically go against the best athletes on the opposing team’s DLine; and (2) he doesn’t appear to be getting much help from Pamphile. Donovan’s not perfect by any means (LTs do typically take awhile to ‘grow’ into the position IMO … look at Donald Penn), but there’s more going on than meets the eye I surmise. Right now I’m convinced that Pamphile & Sweezy are the two on our OLine not getting the job done, and unfortunately their mediocre play affects those playing next to them … and the play of our entire OLine.

  3. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    ……..and how many times we’ve heard about this?????

    All athlete’s in the NFL are athletically gifted, but it doesn’t mean they have the ability mentally and technically to excel in the NFL…..and that’s the problem…

    So many times when you key in on Donovan Smith, he looks like he’s lazy or loafing……tired looking…..and I’ve never seen a “mean” or “nasty” streak from him either. He just looks like a “pay check” player……..

  4. Big Stinky Says:

    Who started all that “Weapons for Winston” garbage? That’s who should lose their job, simple as that. Was it you Joe? We already had a Top 10 WR and TE for him to throw to. Then you bring in the NFL’s 2nd fastest WR via FA. Done!!! I guess maybe you get a RB in the Draft since it was considered to be a RB heavy class and you could get one up to the 3rd round. But to WASTE yet ANOTHER 1st round pick on a TE that you didn’t really need is ridiculous. Then you WASTE a 3rd round pick on ANOTHER WR for a QB that is inaccurate. ASININE!!! Are you telling me there wasn’t ONE OL or DL that wasn’t BETTER than OJ Howard? BS

    It’s no wonder why the Glazers haven’t given Jason Licht a new contract. He MUST think he has ANOTHER 5 years to REBUILD this team. I guarantee you they are TIRED of watching him CONTINUE to WASTE their money every way possible. Maybe they are SO rich it doesn’t even matter to them, but I doubt it. How can we STILL have SO many holes to fill on this team after 4 more years of rebuilding? Is Jason EVER going to address this piss poor DL? He acts like EVERY Draft pick is a LUXURY one he can waste. Time for him to go!!! I heard McKay is still in Atlanta after ALL these years. Is that true Joe? If so, we NEED to “Show him the Money” and try to lure him BACK to Tampa this year. He is/was the BEST GM this team has EVER had and Gruden had to run him off and DISMANTLE the TEAM he put together. Bad move Jon!!! That is the ONLY reason I wouldn’t hire him AGAIN. McKay drafted players with HEART, not quitters and losers. Bring back the PASSION to WIN to Tampa Bay!!! #WhateverItTakes #BringBackMcKay

  5. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    oh, and also……..some of the scouting reports on him coming out of college was that they said at times he gets “lazy”……….that equals = loafing or takes plays off”

    ………he’s been doing this “ish” since he was in college

  6. Warrenfb12 Says:

    Ya gotta call bs on the Joes and the love for D. Smith. I don’t care if he goes out there every week. He’s lazy and a loafer. He has been beasted the last two games. Don’t trade Donald Penn and try to feed me Collins/d Smith

  7. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    @ Big Stinky

    If you truly look at Jason Licht’s track record in the draft, he’s actually has a lot great picks that fanned out and his track record is more “success” than failure. There’s no other GM in bucs history that has has more success in draft other than Rich McKay and he was here from 1994 to 2003. That’s nine freaking years of drafting and Jason Licht has only been here for three short years and he’s been just as successful in a quarter on that time.

    The simple fact, is that alota “ignorant fans” want to find blame and find a scapegoat for losing and they don’t know the history of the bucs or past GMs……it’s not the GM that’s the problem right now. Jason Licht is not going NOWHERE!!!!!

  8. Big Stinky Says:

    @Defense Rules

    Nice assessment Brother! Put the OL back together that we had in 2015 when we ran the ball for OVER 2000 yards. What are these guys thinking?

  9. AlteredEgo Says:

    Lacks Winners want to !

  10. Big Stinky Says:


    You are CRAZY as EFF!!! Why do you think he hasn’t gotten a new contract yet? Because the Glazers see what I see! A bunch of quitters and losers that give up on their coach and QB. Open your freaking eyes for a change instead of being such a sucka$$. So I am an “ignorant fan” in your eyes I guess. WTFDYK??? I know PLENTY about this teams history. Want some PROOF???

    In ABOUT 4-5 years he brought in Sapp, Brooks, Barber, Alstott, Dunn, D. Abraham, and probably Culpepper too. I’m sure if I looked it up I could find MORE and they were ALL playmakers. BIGTIME!!! That did NOT happen in 9 years SO get your FACTS straight before you come at me AGAIN Brother! Let’s here who you THINK he has brought in here via the Draft other than Evans and even he has trouble against the top talent at CB in almost EVERY game. One player can SHUT him down and get in his HEAD! And it happens MORE than you think. Can’t wait to hear who you think stacks up to the HOF type players I (McKay) gave you. Starting to think you are the “ignorant fan” for opening your mouth and attacking me in the first place. Going to have to remember you (for sure) so I can call you out later if you don’t answer now. Nailed it!!!

  11. Big Stinky Says:


    Read your post AGAIN and didn’t realize how hard it was to even understand you. Proper English please!!!

  12. Big Stinky Says:

    Jason Licht is the MAIN reason this team can’t COMPETE right now. #BOOM

  13. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Possible Interior Line Upgrade(s)
    • Draft – LG Quenton Nelson ←Beast
    • Sign – RG Zack Martin ← Best In the Game

    LG Quenton Nelson (22) 6-5 335 || Notre Dame
    -C Ali Marpet (24) 6-4 305 || Hobart
    RG Zack Martin (26) 6-4 315 || Notre Dame

    Note: Dallas has very limited capspace heading into 2018.

  14. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Very interesting Defense,
    Probably why Evan Smith gets so much playing time.Also in 2015 Pamphile
    was in the lineup as extra blocker at swing tackle. Maybe we need to go back to the lineup. We still have EDS and Christie on the team. Difficult to assess
    whether The Marpet move was a success or not ,because of the lines’ problems.
    Although we have some of the pieces of the 2015 line, Mankins and Cherilous
    were important parts of that line .

  15. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    @ Big Stinky

    LOL…….I never attacked you Miss Sensitive (you get the point)

    I love how you talk about McKay’s players “after the fact”. You simply cannot compare what 9 years of drafting and then over 20 years later to a GM with only three years on the job and players who’s still in their rookie contracts…..that is ignorant on your part.

    Nobody was complaining about the GM or the players until the bucs started losing. You are just like all the other fans who want to place blame on someone for the team losing.

    If you really think about it, what was the one thing that made the McKay era great? It was coaching and the Dungy tree of coaches that went on the HC is probably one of the best ever in the NFL. The coaches all guided those great players.

    So is it coaching, the players, or the GM?????

    ……and it’s not like McKay era was great every year either and was also a different era and a different NFL where you could actually hit someone and not get penalized or fined. Alot of the the bucs great players from the past would’ve flamed out under our current NFL rules and conditions and coaching. But once again…..that was well over 20 years….so you really cannot make a fair comparison from 1994 to 2017.

    So go ahead with irrational thoughts and comparison. I was a bucs fan supporting the Creamsicle yuccaneers at the old Sombrero and you probably some young kid raging in your undroos at that time.

    I normally would give posters like you the time of day for a response….but you deserved some intellectual insight into the buccaneers past which many posters on this site is lacking.

    So go ahead and respond with another ignorant post cause I won’t respond to you again.

    Have a great day! 🙂

  16. Big Stinky Says:


    You seem to be the MOST knowledgeable fan on this site hands down. Keep up the good work Brother. I like your posts

  17. The Buc Realist Says:

    Is it not Joe’s problem with Drug Martin is “inconsistency”?????? And if Joe, thinks it has been only “2 rough games” that DS76 has had , then he needs to be drug tested everytime drug martin takes a test!!!!!!! I dare say, just name me 2 good games that DS76 has had this year?????? The “Real QB killa” is killing the offense, whether its hits on the QB or to having to run bunch formation so they can help the struggling LT!!!!!!!

    I said last offseason that they would shuffle the interior O-line then what till this offseason to make decisions about the Tackles!!!!!!!!!! They really need to fix the lines and bold moves will need to be done to accomplish that!!!!! What if, instead of drafting very high a DE in the draft, they trade back to get the #1 LT and then move DS76 to guard!!!!!! You fix the O-line and get picks to help fix the D-line, in which they need to trade GMC for picks then build the 3-4 front!!!!!! We need ammo for the draft!!!!! so prepare yourselves sheep!!!!!!!

    GO Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Bob in Valrico Says:

    I recall seeing an analysis last year that had a 5.0 run average between the
    Christie- Pamphile gap and surprisingly around 3.4-3.6 between Marpet and
    Christie.To be fair fair the pamphile gap had a significantly smaller sample size,
    and possibly Hawleys Knee injury affected his blocking to that side.

  19. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    @Big Stinky – Respect

  20. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    Donovan smith has had some good games where he’s kept some premiere players away from Jameis….but it’s like another poster said above…. and that’s consistency is a problem for him.

  21. Big Stinky Says:


    Good, cause you didn’t PROVE anything with that illegible post and you called me ignorant again A$$HOLE. You’re just rambling about nothing and NEVER named one player Licht has drafted in 4 years (NOT 3 dummy) that has made this TEAM any better. You MUST love to talk chit though. Might just have to SKIP your posts from now on because they are hard to read anyway. Have a good day

  22. mike10 Says:

    If you ranked left tackles across the league, he would fall in the bottom half. You can’t have a below average LT protecting your franchise.

    Those slow feet of his haven’t gotten better since college.

    Strengthen up your RT by moving him over and let’s focus on his replacement.

  23. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Key’s To A Quick Turn Around: Acquire Premuim Draft Capital !!

    McKay traded down & sold off assets to acquire 1st Round Picks.

    • 1/12 Warren Sapp (DT) Miami (FL)
    • 1/28 Derrick Brooks (LB) Florida State

    • 1/12 Regan Upshaw (DE) California
    • 1/22 Marcus Jones (DE) North Carolina

    • 1/16 Reidel Anthony (WR) Florida
    • 1/12 Warrick Dunn (RB) Florida State


    1995 Traded down w/Eagles (From 7th to 12th)
    • Traded 1995 first round pick (#7-Mike Mamula), 1995 third round pick (#72-Greg Jefferson) to Eagles for 1995 first round pick (#12-Warren Sapp), two 1995 second round picks (#43-Melvin Johnson) (#63-Shane Hannah) on 1995-04-22

    1996 Traded QB Craig Erickson
    • Traded Craig Erickson to Colts for 1996 first round pick (#22-Marcus Jones), 1996 conditional fourth round pick (not exercised) on 1995-04-27

    • Traded 1996 second round pick (#41-Bryan Still) to Chargers for 1997 first round pick (#16-Reidel Anthony) on 1996-04-20

    I Bet U Gruden wishes that he could’ve started off his tenure ….
    …w/6* 1st Round Picks.

  24. Big Stinky Says:


    BTW, All the players I named were STARS before their rookie contracts were up (still not sure about Culpepper) and you could tell they were good from the start. Guess you can’t name ANY though that your GM has drafted. That’s a shame!!! Make a BETTER argument the next time you try to look smart calling someone out for their opinion though

  25. AlteredEgo Says:

    I think the CBA with practice limits, hitting limits, rule changes game day has taken the primal element out of the game…it is now more like an orchestrated football game…go all out but then pull up and hit only here or there and in only a certain way….just think make to the pre MNF segment “Jacked up !”….was not that long ago…of course all the money and human nature of protecting your body/business….too much change in a very short time

  26. Defense Rules Says:

    mike10 … Agree 100%. Looking at next year, Sweezy hasn’t shown much of anything, and Pamphile is more of a ‘jack of all trades’ backup IMO. Dotson isn’t that bad, but he is getting a bit long in the tooth (32?). That pretty much leaves us with Marpet & Donovan Smith as guys to build around, with Pamphile as a backup (if he chooses to stay … he is a UFA next year). If it was my choice, I’d try moving Donovan over to RT & move Marpet back to Guard (that’s at least give us one strong run-blocking side). We’ll never find a young LT in free agency (someone to build around) so Rnd #1 draft choice it is (Rnd #2 is too late for a quality LT IMO). I’d also look for a LG in either the draft (preferably Rnds 4-5) or FA (second choice). Either keep Evan Smith or Joe Hawley (as experienced Centers) or find one in FA. Our problem is that our OLine AND Dline BOTH need rebuilding. Can’t do that in 1 year (probably not even in 2 years).

  27. Clw JB Says:

    The LT has to be top tier in a deep passing O – which is what we want to be – he is not close to top tier and his inconsistency is getting beat physically far too often being off balance and with bad footwork on the edge against speed

    I think he is a natural left gaurd- he’d be a beast on the inside with his size and strength and not have to cover such a large area in protection

  28. The Buc Realist Says:

    Seems like Head Coach Koetter is laying the ground work for a switch of position for DS76!!!!!!!!!

  29. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Its entirely possible that Bucs keep both Hawley and Evan Smith another year. Agree with defense that we need to see Marpet back at his natural position and see how successful that is.
    I wonder if the Glazers have given Jason Licht a little too much power. He should should draft players and leave it up to coaching to assess a players talent
    and put him where they feel he will fit in best. The Marpet and Ryan Smith experiments are questionable at best.
    I want to see coaches have more input on this roster , it is their job on the line.

  30. passthebuc Says:

    Sound Byte. That’s what Kotter (not welcome back) is good at.
    Regarding Mr. Smith, on the field he is LAZY.
    That attitude alone is infectious, and the kind of infection that seems to have caught on.
    Someone needs to send Florida Hospital to cure the wrong type of fever.

  31. Defense Rules Says:

    Bob, my hunch is that they wanted to see Marpet at Center for the long haul, and figured that Sweezy would do a good job run-blocking at his RG position (where he played in Seattle). Dots is having a good year, so that should’ve given us a strong right side run-blocking. Instead, Sweezy hasn’t turned out to be the road-grader we expected IMO, and right-side run-blocking has suffered as a result. Since we’ve got a couple of experienced Centers (Evan Smith & Joe Hawley) who are ‘serviceable’ for at least 2-3 more years, I too prefer moving Marpet back to RG. That is unless Sweezy starts showing us something that we haven’t seen in the past year & a half.

  32. Big Daddy 58 Says:

    Everything starts up front on both sides of the ball! We need Arse kickers on both sides.
    Then build the offense around jameis capabilities like the bucs did for Brad Johnson and go from there.I have watched and loved the Bucs since the inception of the team watched arguably the worst field goal kicker in the league( Neil O’donoghue) kick a field goal to beat K.C in a blinding rainstorm in 79, endured 0-26 and rejoiced in 02 superbowl however a 31 pct winning percentage through the years is wearing even the stoutest of bucs fans thin.Its time to put a winner on the field again.

  33. Capt. Blighe Says:

    What he really said… He is really more suited to be RT but hes the best we got at LT

  34. BucEmUp Says:

    His attitude sucks but who doesn’t when you know your playing for a team who’s DC ha s system that will allow 40 points in a game if your offense keeps it close and lose the game anyway

  35. DB55 Says:

    Honestly DSmith is the best Tackle in his draft class.

    Andres Peat the first Tackle of the board plays LG. He came in at LT for a few games as the back up and got injured

    Cedric Ogbuehi listed as a bust on the bengals fan sites. Biggest disappointment on the team. And Jake Fischer is no better.

    DJ Humphries done.

    DSmith is the only Full Time LT that doesn’t completely suck. He has trouble with speedy DEs but he can be coached up for sure. Year 1 his run blocking was outstanding but recently he loafs.

    The whole team needs a swift kick in the ass.

  36. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    Gifted athletically in every way except one, the guy just flat out has slow feet. Move him to guard and he would probably thrive, End of story.

  37. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    @ DB55

    That’s a good pointing out the lineman taken before DS.

    DS has shown flashes if a top LT ……it’s just consistency that’s his problem.

    Jason Licht picks players based on value and potential versus what the mainstream so called draft experts says so if you look at most of his picks which is what the Patriots do as well.

    I know one thing, getting rid of a good GM like Licht would be a big mistake for the glazers and this organization.

  38. The Buc Realist Says:

    If DS76 protected JW3 the way that Joe protected DS76, the Bucs would have a Pro-Bowl Tackle on their hands!!!!!!!!

    Hard decision will need to be made in the offseason!!!!!!!

    GO Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  39. DB55 Says:

    Ty sir I try

  40. Chris Says:

    Ha ha ha ha, good GM? The Aguayo pick alone has him as a laughing stock. Much less all of his other questionable moves. A TE which we didnt need. No DL, mediocre ol, jury is still out on Jameis, so much so that even Joe is having wuestiobs seep in. Heartgraves, a bust, all you Florida college homers give him a pass for moves he would be burned in effigy for in another city.

  41. Tom Says:

    Simply put D.. Smith stinks. He’s a lazy underacheiver. I put Licht & Koetter in the same group of Gm’s & HC’s weve had in the past with the exception of Gruden.

  42. Big Stinky Says:


    Your second post today was even BETTER than your first. You are DEFINITELY the poster that does the MOST homework before you say a word. Mad props! (Standing Ovation Sir) Thanks for helping to PROVE my point to TheBucsAnthem BTW! I knew that I remembered McKay as twice the GM Licht is. The ONLY time I remember Jason trading back was last year when we got VH3 and then he just WASTED the 4th rounder he got. Why would you WASTE 2 picks on a K in the first place? Aguayo would have fallen to us in the 3rd round anyway IMO. The Glazers MUST really be thinking hard about whether they want to stick with Licht or NOT. My LIST of his BONEHEAD moves looks longer the more I think about him being the one that needs to be FIRED, not Koetter. He STILL might need to go too but NOT this year for sure.

    Doug Pederson is PROBABLY the HC we SHOULD have tried to bring in last year. Look at what he has done with Wentz and the Eagles after just ONE year. His resume speaks for itself. Look at the coaches AND QB’s he has worked with over the last 20 years. Phenomenal IMO!!! I was reading on NFL.com last night about his METEORIC rise to HC in such a short time. QB coach for the Eagles (2011-12), OC for the Chiefs (2013-15), and NOW HC for the Eagles since last year. Licht should have done his HOMEWORK before just giving Dirk the job. Maybe DK could have been his OC anyway. I don’t know if Pederson calls the plays on offense as HC or not. I guess I better find out more about my NEW team before they win a SB. Lamarcus told me that I should become an Eagles fan BTW. Good idea!!! With my luck the Glazers will probably give Licht an extension anyway. Why I have NO idea? But TheBucsAnthem seems to think he isn’t going anywhere. Who cares anymore? 38 years as a Bucs fan is probably enough already, the ONLY team I EVER rooted for. Go ahead and give Licht ANOTHER 5 years to keep rebuilding. I will be out of here quick. The guy has no CLUE how to build a TEAM. #Thanks4TheMemories #BringBackMcKay

  43. Mo_Downs Says:

    With “0” coaching the Bucs have the talent to run the same plays on both sides of the ball, on every down, to be a .500 team.

    The offense is loaded with above average talent and anyone saying otherwise is just nitpicking.

    Question: Give any winning NFL coach the Bucs personal and what would their record be?

    If the Bucs had hired a true defensive genius and kept Koetter to run the offense they would be, injuries included, a 5-3 team at this point.

    All the line has to do is give Jameis “3sec” (NFL average) to find an open target and deliver the ball, period. Going deep takes longer and most sacks happen trying to go deep against most defenses that are “bend but don’t break”. Most NFL defenses will give you 3-5yds for free.

    Under this coach this is a pass to run offense. Lovie wanted a run to pass offense. Either way is fine if the scheme is able to leave you with 3rd and short. And the defense isn’t giving up points on every possession.

    Lovie wanted a “ball control offense” that ate clock and scored, at minimum, a field goal on EVERY possession. Sadly, the OL never had the players to implement a “beast-mode” on offense. He traded away any chance at OL continuity in year 1 and didn’t draft or trade for better players. The result was, IMHO, open season on QB McCowen.

    That brings me to tomorrow’s game. I love the fact that JM and ASJ will be playing against the “Golden Boy Genius” and the Buc/Dirty Birds defense.

    Sometimes the other team is better, period. We’ll see.

    Go Bucs..!!